There was a period of time when the technology your company used could put you ahead of your competition. When business systems software was new, those who adopted operational, transactional, and decision making business software and related processes could increase efficiency and effectiveness far beyond that of other players in their market. But soon business software became a commodity—everyone had the same types of solutions—different only in terms of the look and feel and not so significant differences in functionality. So to create competitive advantage, companies were back to relying on product-level differentiation—product features, price, and availability (and the product branding created by those clever marketing people).
But the appearance of the Cloud created another paradigm shift in business technology, allowing once again differentiation at the company level due to technology choices. For one thing, it has put software that was previously untouchable for small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) available at a price they can afford, reducing the initial capital outlay as well as eliminating the need for special hardware and dedicated resources and headcount. Now that they can afford it, those companies that choose to go this route have a competitive advantage on two fronts:
- Internal operations–They can automate processes and include processes and actions they could not include before, such as AP automation or real-time inventory tracking. Internal calculations that provide decision-making information, like forecasts and risk analyses, can be produced faster and with greater accuracy. Reporting against data that was previously in ‘silo-ed’ databases becomes much easier and therefore available quicker.
- External facing services—Not only can vendor and partner services be enhanced and automated with portals, customer portals provide a means to better customer service and potential new online products and revenue streams. And mobile access gives your customers another way to access your products and services.
So, yes, technology matters again. Companies that put their accounting and business software in the Cloud can focus on their business and driving growth rather than focus on the technology that enables it. They can provide better service to those customers, vendors, and partners they value so much and they can increase employee satisfaction by removing the unnecessary inefficiencies and frustration from internal operations.
To see how Acumatica Cloud ERP can increase your competitive advantage, contact NexVue at 203.327.0800 or visit us online at www.nexvue.com.
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